Watermelon needs salt

Last week, when I wrote about the social contract of agreed-on rules that help us try to get along with one another, I forgot an important tradition we all should adopt: salt on watermelon – but pepper on cantaloupe.

Watermelon benefits from a healthy sprinkling of salt to give it that blast of sweet and salty as it hits our taste buds. Anyone from the South should know that, but I’m assuming some of you climbed over the wall our glorious homeland erected to separate us from the rest of the nation and so might not know how to act when the slices are handed out.

Black pepper on cantaloupe is not as well-known as a dietary regimen. Best is freshly ground pepper, whose bits contain more fiery spice than the old powdery stuff we find in the supermarket. Bite into a luscious chunk of cantaloupe coated with pepper, and you get the best of both worlds.

These pairings of sweet and spicy don’t necessarily help us coexist in society, but they do make us more comfortable by keeping us from standing out conspicuously at a summer outing of melon lovers. “Go along to get along,” they say, because a juicy melon is messy enough anyway without having other people stare at you for your dining faux pas.

We didn’t have watermelon, but last Tuesday I dined with the Augusta Lions Club at Forest Hills Golf Club, and they served a tasty meal.

I had to sing for my supper, however, if you can say that when a person is invited to speak to a lunch crowd. I talked about newspapers in general and my job in particular, and everyone was so friendly that it was the first time I’ve ever stood at a lectern without getting the jitters.

Thanks to Sam Johnson, the club’s vice president of hospitality, for letting me sit in on the Lions’ meeting. Being impartial, I was asked to draw names for awarding their dues to a member, and Dr. Horace Blalock promptly donated his winnings to the club’s annual fish fry.

Sam explained later that the club will hold its largest fundraiser, the annual Willard Prior Memorial Golf Tournament, at the club in October. The Lions support the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind, Leader Dogs for the Blind and the Brain Injury Awareness Organization, and last year they provided free eye exams and glasses for about 50 people locally, he said. Good causes all.

In a recent column, I praised my oncologist for helping deliver me into remission for leukemia. He couldn’t have done that had not my family physician, Dr. Benjamin Towe, first diagnosed my disease five years ago next Monday. He still keeps tabs on me and pointed out Thursday that I might want to watch what I’m eating.

I admitted that I had tried to bring my weight back up with a little too much ice cream. Ice cream – and watermelon.

Reach Glynn Moore at glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

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